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first time visitors from NY

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hello. my husband and i will be visiting toronto for a long weekend in late march and would love some recommendations. we'll be staying around Richmond St./Yonge St. so the first night (Friday), we'll probably want to stick fairly close to the hotel for dinner. Any moderately priced options with cool vibe nearby?

We'd love to also get some recommendations for nice Saturday/Sunday dinners. For cuisine, I'm thinking possibly bistro one night (Le Select?), thai another (Mengrai?), but as long as there's a good atmosphere (contemporary and/or romantic), the cuisine doesn't really matter.

Also thinking of maybe going to Greektown for lunch one day and a good inexpensive-moderate homestyle Sunday brunch would be great! Sorry for all the questions but we want to make the most of our short time in toronto. :) Thanks in advance!

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  1. For dinner, you can go to Golden Thai at Richmond and Church. I'd recommend the cashew chicken or the green curry shrimp.

    For breakfast in that area, The Senator (www.thesenator.com) Toronto's oldest restaurant with updated diner food at Victoria & Dundas. Also B Espresso Bar (www.bespressobar.com) for pastries and Illy Caffe cappuccinos. Le Petit Dejeuner is also good for Belgian Waffles, can get busy though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: currycue

      just got very hungry looking at these menus. thank you! :)

      do you know if Le Petit Dejeuner accepts reservations for brunch?

      1. re: currycue

        Sadly, Petit Dejeuner doesn't take reservations for brunch, so you'll need to line up with everyone else. The food there is good but when they're very busy the service can slip, so don't go there if you're in a huge hurry.

      2. I don't think of Le Select as "bistro". It's more of a brasserie, when describing in those terms. It's big, like Balthazar's, but does not have the same hustle and bustle, or vibe, or quality of good food. If you want something more bistro-ey, how about Batifole or The Rosebud?

        1 Reply
        1. re: EarlyDrive

          Thanks for the clarification - and the compare/contrast to Balthazar as that does indeed help me! I will check out your other suggestions.

        2. For dinner near your hotel, you could try Beer Bistro,(though it tends to get pretty loud on a Friday night.) It could also be your brunch option.
          Another spot for brunch is the local fav. Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, (but they tend to be over zealous with the salt on occasion.)

          What is your price range for Sat/Sun dinners? That may help narrow your responses.

          4 Replies
          1. re: dragonflygrl

            Here are the links:

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            Beer Bistro
            18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

            Jamie Kennedy
            9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

            1. re: dragonflygrl

              Harlem is another option very close to your hotel that has been getting good press lately. Modern, Southern style comfort food, and I believe that they have live music on weekends. It's on my must try list, so please post if you go!

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              Harlem
              67 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5C1N9, CA

              1. re: dragonflygrl

                love their website! i think this is a definite for us for lunch or dinner. thanks!

            2. re: dragonflygrl

              thanks for the suggestions! i'd say our price range for Sat/Sun dinners would be in the $30s for an entree, or less. Sounds like there are tons of fantastic restaurants that are reasonably priced, though.

            3. "Cest What" is a good place for Friday night. Front/Church St. Good pub grub. Bison burger, sweet potato fries, delicious apple pie.... oh and beer from around the world. Cozy atmosphere, fire place, board games....

              Brunch in Greektown: "Mocha Mocha" tasty food, lively on the weekends.
              If you go south of there on Queen East St. "Bonjour Brioche" is lovely.

              Hope you have a great time here!

              7 Replies
              1. re: peanutbutter

                hmmm, we may just stop at Cest What for those great desserts! :) thanks!

                1. re: ec76

                  C'est What doesn't get great reviews for food on this board. I would caution you against it. Beer is good, great selection.
                  Can someone post the website/menu for Harlem, please?

                  1. re: thenurse

                    http://harlemrestaurant.com/menu.html

                    edited to add, I agree that C'est What is not that special for a visit from out-of-towners, there are too many other great places to go.

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                    Harlem
                    67 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5C1N9, CA

                    1. re: JamieK

                      noticed that yesterday about C'est What, too. thanks for the tip.

                      1. re: ec76

                        Apparently not popular at all. ha damn, sorry...... we've always had a great time there. Anyway, have fun where ever you end up!

                        1. re: peanutbutter

                          thanks, peanutbutter! i'll post when we get back! :)

                          1. re: ec76

                            hello all. just got back from toronto yesterday and had a wonderful time! thanks to all of you for your recommendations. We ended up eating relatively inexpensive as we spent more time walking/exploring than hitting the "best" restaurants, but we were very happy with our trip.

                            Went to Golden Thai the first night after checking into our hotel because it was so close and we had a very enjoyable meal there.

                            Next was Harlem, which was absolutely delicious! We had the jerk meatloaf and the pulled pork wrap, plus vegetable samosas. All were fantastic. So a special thanks for tipping us off to Harlem.

                            We skipped dinner altogether one night as we were at the Rex Hotel for a late jazz show. We thought we'd be underwhelmed by their appetizers but they were fine for that evening - spring roll fillings tasted more like corn fritters, but that's not a bad thing! :) The show was Michael Herring (band name Vertigo, I think) and they were very good!

                            Thanks again and hope to visit again soon in the warmer months!